Thoughts from the Wild

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Behind the Breed: Australian Shepherd

March 30, 2023

First things first: Australian shepherds aren’t exactly Australian. They actually hail from the Basque region of Spain where, in the 1800s, their original owners, Basque shepherds, took the dogs to their pastures in the Australian Outback, where they gained a popular following. As news of these remarkable, energetic herders spread around the world, ranchers, most …

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Behind the Breed: Yorkshire Terrier

February 23, 2023

Beneath the silken, lustrous coat of the Yorkshire terrier, or “Yorkie,” lies the heart of a feisty companion equally as eager to work as to snuggle. Hailing from Yorkshire, England, the Yorkie was bred in the 19th century by cotton and wool workers from Scotland who had immigrated in search of work. These workers needed …

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Behind the Breed: Shiba Inu

January 26, 2023

The shiba inu is an ancient Japanese breed that was originally bred to hunt both small and large game, but they have become one of the country’s most popular companion animals. Brought to America from Japan only 60 years ago, shibas are good-natured and compact dogs that are often described as more like a cat …

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Cat Breeds Made For Winter Weather

January 19, 2023

“Winter Wonderland” might be a song humans are humming this January, but not all cats enjoy the dropping temperatures. However, some cat breeds have developed the physical traits to not just survive but even enjoy colder climates. If you live where the winters are harsh (or, let’s be honest, even if you don’t), these might …

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Behind the Breed: Cocker Spaniel

December 23, 2022

Though they originated in England, cocker spaniels may have been counted among the first guests at the American Thanksgiving table. Records and ships’ manifests indicate that there were two dogs aboard the Mayflower when it landed in New England in 1620 — a mastiff and a cocker spaniel. Now, cocker spaniels are counted among the …

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Behind the Breed: Dachshund

November 3, 2022

Known comically as “wiener” or “sausage dogs,” dachshunds’ low-to-the-ground silhouettes house big and fierce personalities — many owners will tell you that these lovable dogs don’t know they are short. Dachshunds originated in Germany, and they were bred to chase and flush out badgers and other ground dwellers (the name literally means “badger dog”). Members …

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Behind the Breed: Saint Bernards

October 27, 2022

Known for their imposing bulk but lovable personalities, Saint Bernards are also celebrated for daring tales of harrowing rescues in the Alpine mountains. With such an interesting background, it’s no wonder Saint Bernards are regularly put on the silver screen. These massive and massively drooly dogs originated in the Western Alps in Italy and Switzerland. …

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Behind the Breed: The Noble Basset Hound

September 29, 2022

Arguably no breed of dog cuts a more distinctive profile than the basset hound. Their short stature and long ears are as identifiable as it gets. The breed name is also descriptive. “Basset,” is derived from the French word “bas,” which means “low” (as in “to the ground”), and “hound” conveys that their sense of …

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Behind the Breed: Golden Retrievers

August 25, 2022

One of the most popular dog breeds in the United States for decades, golden retrievers have a rich history that originates in the Scottish Highlands. The golden retriever is a highly adaptable and all-around sporting dog known for their affectionate temperaments and luxurious golden coats. In the late 19th century, Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, who later …

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Behind the Breed: Welsh Corgi

July 21, 2022

Queen Elizabeth of Britain’s love of Welsh corgis has helped make the breeds very popular all over the world. For owners of the Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh corgi breeds, a good amount of time is spent explaining the subtle differences between the two, which are distinguished by their tails — or lack thereof. Pembroke and …

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